Why I Walk: First-Time Walker Emmie J. Spent Her 21st Birthday on the New England 3-Day

To Emmie Jeffcoat, commitment means “doing everything I am capable of to help find a cure.” It also meant spending her 21st birthday as part of “the most heartwarming weekend ever” on the New England 3-Day!

Emmie had heard a lot about the 3-Day from her aunt (Coach Gayla from Dallas/Fort Worth!), but she still didn’t fully know what to expect. She didn’t anticipate being moved in the way she was over her three days in the New England 3-Day Pink Bubble. She decided to walk in 2019 because she hoped to inspire more young people to walk as well, but she’ll be back in 2020 because of the friends (of all ages) that she made during her 60-mile journey.

What began as a birthday celebration turned into a life-changing experience. Emmie is sharing with us just how much the 3-Day affected her, and why she will continue to commit 3 days.

How did you prepare for your 3-Day journey?

I didn’t follow the training guide as well as I should have. However, I did find that just getting used to being on my feet helped me a lot. I also walk 5-10 miles every day on campus just going to class, so I think that helped me, too! Fortunately for me, my campus is full of hills, so I was prepared for the hills on the walk.

Do you have any fundraising advice for first timers?

My best advice with fundraising would be exactly what my aunt told me: ask anyone and everyone! You never know who is going to have a connection to breast cancer or want to donate, so tell everyone about the walk and what it’s about. More than half of the people who donated to my fundraiser were people I had either never met or hadn’t seen in years. Social media played a HUGE part in my fundraising as well. Putting information on social media platforms helped me get my story out to more people.

Tell us about your overall 3-Day experience!

I have so many fond memories of my three-day experience!

  1. I think I laughed harder with my Aunt than I ever have in my entire life. There’s not one specific memory of that, but just 3 days FULL of laughing until I could barely breathe.
  2. I had the honor of meeting a survivor who was walking her 19th 3-day! Just talking to her and hearing her story made me realize the amount of strength these survivors have. I felt honored to be able to walk for them and be a small part of something so amazing. I know I had technically only been around her for three days, but she quickly became a huge role model for me. She was one of the coolest people I have ever met.
  3. GEORGE! He was such a wonderful example of what true love looks like. He is the sweetest/toughest man, and I loved seeing him every day. I wish everyone in the world could meet George.
  4. The Crew! The 3-Day crew was beyond awesome. I honestly don’t know how they manage. They had food, medical, pit stops, etc. Thank you, 3-Day Crew, for showing me how extraordinary the 3-Day is.
  5. The most amazing ceremony Saturday night. I won’t give anything away, but I will say that night is one I will never forget. It opened my eyes to what the walk is really about.
  6. Hearing “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond was also the best. It’s a song that everyone knows, so when it starts playing it’s so much fun to get a big group singing together!

The 3-Day is a big commitment in a variety of ways. What did this commitment mean to you?

I think the word “commitment” holds a whole new meaning now since I completed the walk. Commitment is making the choice to see something all the way through no matter what. Concerning breast cancer, I think commitment is making the decision to fight as hard as you possibly can. I think for families it means fighting with your loved one(s) throughout the entire process and sharing the strength it takes to get through something like that.

What are your plans for next year?

When I signed up for my first walk, I thought it was going to be a one-time thing I got to cross off my bucket list. However, after participating I realized that it is impossible to do just one! I haven’t decided which city yet, but you will definitely see me at another 3-Day in 2020! My goal is to do one 3-Day walk per year. You will also be able to catch me at some cheer stations dressed up and ready to make some walkers smile!

3-Day Ways to Make the Most of a 3-Day Weekend

Labor Day weekend can seem like a bittersweet time because it means that summer is coming to a close. The weather is slowly changing, kids are going back to school…and the 3-Day is on the horizon! After two wonderful weekends in the Midwest in August, we are gearing up for our fall events and getting more excited by the day. With lots of preparing to do, you need to take advantage of every spare minute you have! Here are some simple ways to make the most of this upcoming long weekend, and any spare day you have before you get ready for your 60-mile weekend.

1-2-3 step your way through!

This one should be simple to check off your to do list: go for a walk! You have plenty of time to get team training in, take a solo walk or even grab your family to come with you. You can take a few shorter walks every day or go for a long walk on your extra weekend day. You can also check to see if there are any training walks already organized to join walkers in your area! These are a great way to make friends or grow your own team.

Connect with your teammates

We often share tips for building your 3-Day team, but don’t forget to take time to connect with your teammates once they agree to join you. You’ll have plenty of time to chat over your 60-mile journey or weekend of crewing, but before then, it helps to build a really strong team community. This is a deeply personal endeavor for many people, so organize a group breakfast or afternoon coffee meet-up and start a dialogue. Talk about your 3-Day journeys and remember what brought you all together in the first place. As fall weekends get busy, you’ll be able to look back on this time together and smile.

Fundraise on Facebook

Social media is a simple and low-maintenance approach to fundraising, and you can do it right from the comfort of your couch! Though you can use multiple avenues for fundraising (here are some more ideas!), you should definitely start on Facebook. Did you know that 3-Day participants who have a Facebook Fundraiser, on average, raise $500 more than participants without one? The power of this online fundraiser is a great reason to be active on Facebook!

With just a few clicks from your 3-Day Participant Center, you can set up your Facebook Fundraiser and start inviting all your family and friends today. Then, set up reminders as your 3-Day draws closer. Don’t let people forget!

Catch up on your research!

Since Labor Day weekend is often seen as the unofficial start of the fall season, we know that lots of 3-Dayers will be kicking their preparation into high gear starting in the next few days. To help prepare you for whatever your fall goals might be, we have some awesome blog posts to give you guidance:

We hope you all have an amazing few days planned, and we can’t wait to kick off our fall walks in New England next week!

Congratulations to the 2019 Twin Cities 3-Day Milestone Award Winner, Cynthia Geye

Please join us in congratulating our 2019 Twin Cities Milestone Award Winner; Cynthia Geye. The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Milestone Award is given at each event to a walker or crew member who has an outstanding history of participation in the Komen 3-Day. At the Twin Cities 3-Day camp show, we presented Cynthia with this special honor.

Before she left home for the 3-Day this year, we talked to Cynthia about what the 3-Day means to her. She is walking this year with her granddaughter Callie Powers, and walking for Jen, Callie’s mom and Cindy’s daughter. When Callie was born, Cindy had just completed treatment and she told the family that Callie would be her reason to live and keep fighting. Now, Callie is walking with Cindy for the first time, in Jen’s honor.

Jen says that Cindy is “a very positive person, always looking on the bright side, laughing and is totally goofy. She has made this walk her passion and will not stop until we eradicate this disease.”

We are honored to share Cindy’s story, in her own words, below…

Back in 2005, one year after surviving 3 bouts of metastatic breast cancer, my oldest daughter suggested, no, she insisted that we do something big in the fight against breast cancer. She had seen an ad for the Susan G. Komen 3-day Breast Cancer walks. She used every coercive method she could to convince me to walk. I, of course, came up with every imaginable excuse as to why I should NOT walk. But, walk we did (even convinced my younger daughter to join us).

Since then, I have walked every year and every city multiple times. Sometimes with my daughters and many times as a solo walker. This year, I am walking with my granddaughter. This is my 27th walk and each walk is so memorable. With every walk, I meet new friends. We share our stories, our tears, our hopes for the future. We laugh, we cry, and we support one another. Each walk is 3 days full of kindness, caring and commitment.

When I first started walking, there was a song titled “Why We Walk.” The refrain says it all: “We walk to remember. We walk to celebrate…. For those who are gone and those who live on. We honor them all and that’s why we walk.”

You see, God has given me amazing health these last 20+ years and I can use it to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. The blisters, aches and pains are nothing compared to what every cancer patient goes through when we are battling this disease.

As I am a fast walker, I have been told many times that it is not how fast you walk, but, rather, enjoying the 3-Day journey. This is about all the people, not just the walkers.

It’s all the people that come out to cheer us on. The bald women with their signs that say “Thank you. You’re walking for me.”  To know that we are helping them have a second chance at life. Every survivor, no matter where they live, deserve the best possible care.

It’s about the little girls holding their signs that say, “Please find a cure before I grow up.”  To have the color pink be more than the symbol for breast cancer, but rather the color for hair ribbons and prom dresses.

This is not about what you endure while walking – the blisters, aches and pains – it is so much more.  It is what you walk away with – the memories that will last a lifetime.  While my own cancer journey was very scary, not knowing if I would survive, it has ended up as a true gift.  It has brought me many blessings, a deeper faith and a richer perspective on life.  It has brought me to the 3-Day.